May 7, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Vancouver Canucks celebrate after the goal by defenseman Alexander Edler (23) against the San Jose Sharks during the third period in game four of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at HP Pavilion. The San Jose Sharks defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

2013-14 Season Preview – Vancouver Canucks


LAST SEASON

Regular Season: The 2013 season was never short on news, especially surrounding the goalie drama that encircled Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider. The Canucks finished first in the Northwest Division for the 5th year in a row and 7th time in 9 seasons.

Playoffs:  Once again playoff success eluded the Canucks, as they were swept at the hands of the San Jose Sharks in the first round, costing Alain Vigneault his job behind the bench.

 

CHANGES

Out:  F Mason Raymond, F Maxim Lapierre, F Derek Roy, D Keith Ballard, D Cam Barker, G Cory Schneider

In:  F Brad Richardson, D Yanick Weber

Ready To Make The Jump:  F Jordan Schroeder

 

BIG 3 FACTORS

1. Up To You, Bobby Lou: It didn’t end like anyone had predicted, but somehow Luongo is now the undisputed #1 goalie in Vancouver.  With all the drama that surrounded him, the onus is on Luongo to prove that he is still among the elite netminders in the NHL.

2. Torts:  Press conferences in Vancouver will be infinitely more entertaining, despite new coach John Tortorella’s insistence that he will be a changed man.  The first dumb question during a losing streak from a member of the media could be the tipping point for Torts to go off the deep end.

3.  Forward Depth:  After the Sedins, Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler, the Canucks aren’t exactly deep.  There is help on the way in the persons of Nicklas Jensen, Hunter Shinkaruk, Bo Horvat and Brendan Guance, but none of those will be ready this year.  They are going to need good seasons from Zack Kassian and Jordan Schroeder, a pair of players who could provide some offense.  A healthy David Booth wouldn’t hurt either.

 

PROGNOSIS:  Luongo has something to prove, and he is still one of the more talented goalies in the league.  They might not be the deepest team in the league, but their top-end talent is still enough to get them to the post-season.

PREDICTION:  3rd Pacific Division

 

 

 

We have been and will be previewing every NHL team ahead of Training Camp which for most teams will begin on Sept 11th.  As a twist, we will be unveiling our teams in reverse order to how I predict they will finish in the standings.  Here is the schedule (you can click on a team name to see the preview for that team):

Predicted Finish Atlantic Metropolitan Central Pacific
1 Sept 9 Sept 8 Sept 7 Sept 6
2 Sept 5 Sept 4 Sept 3 Sept 2
3 Sept 1 Aug 31 Aug 30 Canucks
4 Maple Leafs Capitals Wild Ducks
5 Canadiens Hurricanes Avalanche Oilers
6 Lightning Islanders Jets Coyotes
7 Sabres Blue Jackets Stars Flames
8 Panthers Devils

Tags: 2013-14 Season Preview John Tortorella Roberto Luongo Vancouver Canucks